RECKON – Romans 6:11

 

                In Christ we have victory over sin. This victory is made possible when we Know, Reckon, and Yield. We are to ‘know’ that we are dead to sin and we are to no longer serve sin. In order to live such a life, we must ‘reckon’ it to be so. The term ‘reckon’ refers to purpose or reality. We are to make the fact that we are dead to sin and alive in Christ and the fact that we are no longer to serve sin, a reality in our daily lives. How is this possible? How can such a life become a reality for us? There are three things that must be done in order to ‘reckon’ oneself as dead to sin and alive in Christ. Those three things are: Submit, Surrender, and Strengthen.

Submit. In order to live a life that is dead to sin and alive in Christ, we must submit. There are two things that we must submit to. First of all, we must submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Now, we have to be careful here. There are those who will say that ‘making’ Jesus Lord of your life is something that you do after salvation. I really struggle with this idea. The fact is that Jesus is Lord. He is Lord of all. He is the creator God. He is King. We cannot ‘make’ Him something that He already is. Therefore, you cannot ‘make’ Him Lord of your life, because He already is Lord. When you come to faith in Christ, you are, in a sense, acknowledging His lordship. You are recognizing the fact that you cannot save yourself and you are completely trusting in Jesus to save you. This in itself is acknowledging His lordship. So, we need to clarify here that we do not ‘make’ Him Lord at some point later in our life. He already is Lord whether we submit to or even acknowledge Him as Lord. However, even though He is Lord, we may not always be living a life of submission to His lordship. For example, the president of the United States is the president of the United States. There is nothing that I can do to change that. I may not obey all of his commands and laws. I may refuse to respect him or even to acknowledge him. However, that does not change the fact that he is still the president. You and I may have placed our faith in Christ. We may have been born again. However, we may also be living in a way that is not in submission to Christ. When we live such a life of rebellion, we will find ourselves living in bondage to sin, not because we had to, but because we put ourselves there. So, in order to live a life that is dead to sin and alive in Christ, we must submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. A life of continual submission is not necessarily required in order to be justified, to be saved. However, in order to live a life that is no longer serving sin, we must submit to the lordship of Christ. In other words, we must relinquish control of our lives. We must give Jesus everything. Such relinquishing of control is something that we must do on a day by day and moment by moment basis. Think about it. Are you submitting to the lordship of Christ in every area of your life? Or is there something that you are still holding on to? Are you living a life of submission to the lordship of Christ? Not only must we submit to the lordship of Christ in order to live a life that is dead to sin, but we must also submit to the filling and leading of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says, And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”[1] To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. The moment you trusted in Christ as Savior, you were indwelled by the Spirit. He is living within you. He will never leave you. He will always be there. However, you may not be always controlled by the Spirit. As a matter of fact, you may be controlled by the Spirit one moment and not the next. In order to live a life that is dead to sin and victorious over sin, you must be filled with the Spirit. You must allow the Spirit of God to control you. In order to submit to the filling and leading of the Spirit, we must feed on the Word of God. It is the Word of God that empowers us to be filled with the Spirit. Again, the nature you feed is the nature that will take control. If you want the Spirit of God to have control, then you must give Him control by feeding on God’s Word.  You don’t just throw your hands up and say ‘okay, God, fill me.’ We are filled by the Holy Spirit by our submitting to and feeding on the Word of God. The more of God’s Word you have in you the more Spirit filled you will be. Therefore, in order to live a life that is dead to sin, we must submit to the filling of the Spirit.

Surrender. In order to live a life that is dead to sin, not only must we submit, but we must also surrender. Both of these terms are similar, yet they are different. To submit is to relinquish control. We must submit to the lordship of Christ and to the filling of the Spirit. We give up and we give control of our lives over to Christ. However, to surrender is to take it one step further. We not only must submit, but we must also surrender our lives. Surrendering is letting go. It is sacrifice. It is giving something up. In other words, in order to live a life that is dead to sin, there may be specific things that we need to give up. For example, if media such as television, internet, facebook, and so forth, is keeping you from spending time in God’s Word, then you need to surrender those things. You need to give them up. The first command given to Moses was to have no other god before Him. The one true God is to be number one. He is to come first. Think about it. If you spend more time checking facebook throughout the day than you do reading God’s word, is God really number one in your life? If you spend more time watching television than you do in prayer, is God really number one in your life? If you are too busy to come to church every time the church doors are open, is God really number one in your life? After all, did He not say to “not neglect the assembling of ourselves together.” If you spend more money on yourself than you give to work the of the Lord, is God really number one in your life? Think about it. We wonder why we struggle so much with sin. We blame our sin on the pressures of life and the temptations of our society. Yet, we are caught up in the things of the world by putting other things ahead of our relationship with God. In order to live a life that is dead to sin, we must surrender on a daily basis. There are certain things that we must give up, in order to live a life that is dead to sin and alive in Christ.

Strengthen. In order to ‘reckon’ ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ, not only must we submit and surrender, but we must also strengthen. We must strengthen our faith. Look at what Philippians 2:12 says. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” [2] To ‘work out’ your salvation is to exercise. We must strengthen our relationship with Christ. There are three ways that we do this. All three of these things are vitally important. You cannot just choose one them. You must do all three in order to live a life that is dead to sin. The first one is to have a daily Sabbath hour. Some call this a daily quiet time or daily devotions. We should set aside at least one hour everyday to spend time alone with God in Bible study, prayer, and meditation. This is a must. You cannot even begin to live a life that is dead to sin without spending adequate time with God every day. Secondly, you must meditate on God’s Word. To meditate on God’s Word is to think about it; to ponder it. God’s Word should be on our minds as we go about our day. In order for this to happen, we need to memorize God’s Word. The Psalmist said, “Hide God’s Word in your heart so that you will not sin against God.” Our faith is strengthened when we meditate on God’s Word. Finally, we must not neglect church attendance. The Bible is very clear in this, both in command, in principle, and by example. I am amazed at how lightly we treat church attendance. Sadly, most people come to church only when it’s convenient to them or when there is something that they are responsible to do. The Bible commands us to gather together with God’s people. We are to do so more and more as we get closer to the return of Christ. The early church also set the example for us by worshipping in the temple on a daily basis. This is something that we cannot ignore. You cannot live a life of victory over sin, if you are not faithful in your church attendance. Our faith is strengthened when we gather together with other believers at church. When we do not do this, we are starving ourselves from one of the most important aspects of our spiritual nourishment.

Do you want to live a life free of sin? Do you want to be dead to sin and alive in Christ? If so, then ‘reckon’ it to be so. Submit, Surrender, and Strengthen.


[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Eph 5:18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Php 2:12). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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